Sunday, 19 September 2010

Airbus in Terminal Penalty Shocker

Hopperational details
Friday 17 September 2010, Airbus UK Broughton 2  The New Saints 2 in the Welsh Premier League.
This match in one sentence
TNS dominated the territory and possession and this was the strangest and most one-sided 2-2 draw I have ever seen, with Airbus benefiting firstly from a rebound and then from a late controversial penalty.
Airbus 'keeper Kristian Rogers calmly watches the late penalty equaliser

So what?
Bangor City will get the chance to extend their lead at the top of the league while these two teams remain level on points in second and third.
Who caught the eye on the pitch?
TNS left-winger Richie Partridge was involved in most of their best moves, taking up intelligent positions, getting in decent crosses, and cutting inside to score his team’s second goal with a gorgeous curling right-foot shot from the edge of the box.  He is the brother-in-law of Michael Owen, who apparently was there to watch the game and I never noticed.

Richie Partridge (#27) and an acre of space
This match had the same effect on my pulse rate as …
… filling Sir Alec Ferguson with helium and asking him whether he has read The News of the World this week.
A snippet from the programme
From the Airbus News page: “The loss of teenage wonder kid Jake Cassidy to Premier League Wolves was expected to be a considerable blow but so far this has yet to impact on performances or results.  If anything his whirlwind success has captured the imagination of people around the club and has certainly put it in the media spotlight.  For the future, Airbus will be seen as a club willing to give youngsters an opportunity to develop and showcase their potential – making the chance to join the Wingmakers an even more attractive proposition.”
What I learned today
The Airbus brand is 40 years old this year!  The Airfield Stadium is fitted with collapsible (and individually sponsored!) floodlights, due to its position adjacent to a runway.
Modus Hopper Random Talking Point
This is the first season of a restructured Welsh Premier League of 12 clubs.  Six clubs were relegated to the next level at the end of last season, including Rhyl Town for reasons of ground compliance rather than league position.  For the first time, the clubs will play each other home and away (22 fixtures) in the first phase of the season before dividing into upper and lower halves of six.  Teams will play home and away again against those in the same half, thus completing a 32-match regular season.  Play-offs will be held, after the Welsh Cup final, to determine the final Europa League place.  This will involve the 3rd to 7th (or 8th) place teams, so even the “lower half” have something to play for in the second phase of the season.  One WPL game is now shown live on TV each weekend on S4C, a source of live coverage that is easily overlooked by English fans seeking entertainment.  This was a very enjoyable game.

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